Immunotherapy

The FDA has granted priority review to Merck’s supplemental Biologics License Application for the anti-PD–1 agent pembrolizumab as monotherapy for certain patients with high-risk, non-muscle invasive bladder cancer who are ineligible for or have elected not to undergo cystectomy.
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a type of immunotherapy that uses a patient’s own genetically modified T-cells to fight cancer.
Many patients with leukemia or lymphoma who receive treatment with anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy achieve minimum residual disease (MRD) negativity, and many are in complete remission well beyond 12 months. As such, CAR T-cell therapies are curing these patients.
Promising markers of response to immune checkpoint inhibition include tumor mutation burden (TMB) and genomic markers that reflect a disruption of the tumor immunity cycle, said Natalie Vokes, MD, MPhil, Medical Oncology Fellow, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, at the 2019 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium.
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is associated with unique adverse events that require vigilant monitoring, aggressive care, and specialized management. Marco L. Davila, MD, PhD, Medical Oncologist, Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy Program, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, provided an overview of this topic at the 2019 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium.
Triple-negative breast cancer is considered one of the most difficult to treat breast cancers, with few treatment options, but finally a breakthrough study shows progress by extending patient survival.
Combining an immune checkpoint inhibitor and a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) in treatment-naïve patients with advanced renal-cell carcinoma (RCC) compared with a TKI alone.
The combination of immunotherapy with nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) may soon represent a new first-line treatment option in patients with early-stage metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) associated with microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair-deficient (dMMR) tumors.

The second-generation chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, bb2121, engineered to target B-cell maturation antigen, a protein on the surface of certain myeloma cells, displayed continuing efficacy and safety in an update of a phase 1 clinical trial in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

“The wide range of potential immune-related adverse events requires multidisciplinary, collaborative management by providers across the clinical spectrum,” according to Michael A. Postow, MD, and colleagues.
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